Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Ten years ago the Bar Council, in a report entitled Strategies for the Future, stated boldly: “The clerking system should be restructured to provide arrangements tailored to the requirements of the 1990s.” The report recommended that all chambers with more than 25 members should have a practice manager and clerks should be phased out.A decade later, the Bar has enjoyed 10 years of steady growth and most chambers still have clerks. The clerking system would appear to be alive and well, and the Bar has not suffered as a result.There have been changes. Many chambers have managers, not necessarily with the title ‘practice manager’, but fulfilling many of the roles envisaged for practice managers in Strategies for the Future. Last year’s BDO Stoy Hayward/Bar Council Survey of Barristers’ Chambers showed that 32% of chambers surveyed gave some responsibility for management to someone with the title practice manager, chambers director or a similar title. Most of these were recent appointments. Nearly half of the chambers that had practice managers/chambers directors did not have them four years ago.It is therefore a good time to review the development of management at the Bar, particularly as the next decade may pose even greater challenges than the last. The message that emerges is that successful chambers have depended on strong direction and access to first class management skills. These will be no less important in the years to come.Successful chambers have demonstrated several key qualities, and strong practice management – whether provided by barristers, a senior clerk or a practice manager – has been a feature in each.

This premium content is reserved for
Legal Week Subscribers.


  • Trusted insight, news and analysis from the UK and across the globe
  • Connections to senior business lawyers within the leading law firms and legal departments
  • Unique access to ALM's unrivalled, market-leading reporting in the US and Asia and cutting-edge research, including Legal Week's UK Top 50 and Global 100 rankings
  • The Legal Week Daily News Alert, Editor's Highlights, and Breaking News digital newsletters and more, plus a choice of over 70 ALM newsletters
  • Optimized access on all of your devices: desktop, tablet and mobile
  • Complete access to the site's full archive of more than 56,000 articles

Already have an account?

For enterprise-wide or corporate enquiries, please contact Paul Reeves on Preeves@alm.com or call on +44 (0) 203 875 0651


Legal Week Newsletters & Alerts

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your subscription, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters and alerts. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 American Lawyer Media International, LLC. All Rights Reserved.